Ohel Yaacob Synagogue was started in 1980 to meet the needs of the growing Syrian Community on the Jersey Shore. The Congregation began as a neighborhood minyan, held in the back yards and garages of dedicated Community members. After a few short years the small minyan grew into a Congregation with 150 members. As the minyan grew too big to operate out of a home, it became evident that a permanent structure was needed to house the current and future Community Members wishing to pray and learn in this neighborhood of Deal.
MEN WITH VISION - A SEED IS PLANTED
Victor M. Azrak A”H, Albert S. Dwek, David E. Franco A”H, Moe D. Gindi, Isaac J.
Kassin, Jack E. Mamiye and Albert D. Sutton A”H founded the synagogue and donated the seed money to insure the building of our edifice. With grace and kindness the entire Community became part of this exciting project and enabled the dream to become a reality. Construction was completed in 1984.
The Synagogue was named in honor of our great sage and leader Chief Rabbi Jacob S. Kassin ZT”L. “Ohel Yaacob” or Jacob’s Tent, symbolizes the beauty, modesty, and unity of our heritage and the fundamental role our synagogue plays for the entire Community. Hacham Baruch Ben Haim ZT”L served as the Chief Rabbi and spiritual leader of the Congregation for nearly 20 years.
Baruch Hashem the Congregation has outgrown its current home. Due to the growth in the Community, as well as the draw from our outstanding team of Rabbi’s, spearheaded by Rabbi Eli Mansour, Rabbi Moshe Malka, Rabbi Yaakov Elbaz and Rabbi David Shelby’s youth program, the synagogue is host to over 750 members each Shabbat. Members are attracted to our welcoming minyanim and extensive roster of Torah classes. Given the large crowd, every Shabbat the minyanim are forced to relocate mid service to accommodate the mass of Community Members. Rabbi Mansour’s Seuda Shelishit Derasha alone is attended by over 500 people, maximum capacity for our banquet hall.
THE CAROB TREE
The Gemara (Taanit 23a) tells a story of a Rabbi who once encountered an old man planting a carob tree. The Rabbi said to the man, “How many years will this tree need to produce fruit?” The man answered, “Seventy years.” The Rabbi said, “Is it so clear to you that you will live another seventy years?” The man answered, “I found carob trees in the world. Just like my ancestors planted for me, I plant for my children.”
OUR OPPORTUNITY, OUR DUTY, OUR CHILDREN
Now is the time for us to do for our children and grandchildren what our fathers and
grandfathers did for us so many years ago: to provide a sanctuary where Community Members can come serve Hashem, through Torah learning, prayer and good deeds. Ohel Yaacob has grown to be a vibrant and thriving Congregation over the past 35 years, and we ask for Hashem’s help, and your partnership, so we can continue serving the Community for decades to come, Amen.